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Logistic bot control tower

Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:01 am
by syneris
Logistic robots are really cool, however there is no way to effectively limit their area of operation. You can't have multiple bases using logistic bots without the possibility that some bots may cross a large distance. This is where control towers come in.

The towers themselves wouldn't control the range (unless needed for technical reasons). Each tower would have an inventory to host bots. The size of inventory would determine the maximum number of bots it can control. The bots will deploy from the tower when needed and return when idle, making tower placement a somewhat strategic part of factory design. The amount of bots in the inventory wouldn't change unless a bot is destroyed, because the bot inventory is used for keeping track of how many bots are available and linking them to its network. Manually removing bots from a tower might be a bit complex as you shouldn't be able to directly pull out bots that are in use. Another option is that towers just consume logistic bots from its input inventory and adds them to its capacity, but that has the same removal problem. The reason for the inventory is so that they can be fed by inserters for replacing destroyed bots or as part of some logic network.

Control towers would be assigned some sort of identifier that links the produced bots to that tower's network. This could be a popup selection or something that needs to be manufactured. Logistic chests would also gain slots for these identifiers. Bot would only work the chests that match its tower's identifier. Depending on the identifier method, towers and chests could be assigned multiple IDs. For example, one tower is set to work all chests with yellow or blue IDs, one just yellow, and one just blue. Colors are just to explain, so numeric IDs or a product produced by the tower itself might be other choices.

This would let you have multiple logistic robot networks independent of each other, especially for factories that are far apart. It would also allow the player more control over how many bots to assign to different areas of production. One tower could be set to work only electronic circuits, while another would handle moving all your science packs. This would be done by the wireless link between chests and towers with matching IDs instead of specific filters. Another example is that you could have one tower work all and only the components of a single product.

Lastly, this same tower concept could pave the way to creating a capsule turret. Capsules would treat the turret like a hanger, deploying when enemies are in a certain range and returning afterwards. This would need a way to balance for capsule duration.

Re: Logistic bot control tower

Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:18 pm
by ssilk
BTW: You know, the devs said, that they plan something, that the bots needs power and poles, which used to transfer that?

I like the idea with the inventory. When a bot is not needed, he searches for a place to "sleep", otherwise he needs always energy. I like also the idea of independent areas. And idea behind the identifier, but I don't want to give +200 bots an color/I'd or so. Too complicated. But I have some ideas...

Currently I mean this distinction of areas can work like with the power poles: a logistic pole has an (rather large) area (the smallest a quarter of radar-area? The biggest four times of radar?) , which he covers and inside the bots can work, outside not (or only special bots with solar cells/batteries...)

So when you place a logistic pole, you see - like with power poles - if he connects to another. If yes, the both areas are connected and the bots can move things between the areas. If not, the areas are distincted and build a second area.

So from a farther perspective we have areas, which aren't interconnected. Or in other words: there are areas, which are distant and you want to exchange items.

First I wanted to say we need bigger bots to interconnect the distincted areas. But that would be stupid. Instead I suggest to interconnect them with the trains! I made a pic, how that can look (sorry painted on iPad):
image.jpg (26.54 KiB) Viewed 3427 times
The "logistic train station" works just like a requester/provider-chest in one, but their context are the logistic networks and they do requesting by looking inside how much is requested and not fulfilled.

Re: Logistic bot control tower

Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:19 pm
by n9103
Sounds like a good system.
Best way to assign bots would just be assigning them to the area they're covered by when placed/deployed.

Re: Logistic bot control tower

Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:54 pm
by syneris
ssilk wrote:I don't want to give +200 bots an color/I'd or so.
You wouldn't assign the bots at all, the towers take care of that. Maybe instead of placing bots manually, you can only put them in towers. Without an ID set, they would work like they do now. To migrate to the new system, any bots without a home would seek out a tower.

Re: Logistic bot control tower

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:16 am
by ssilk
Well, that's a small detail. What I want to keep the finger on is the idea with the logistic train station. I liked that really, because this brings really an element into the game from Trafic Tycoon, where you have here the wood, there the sawmill and there the goods-factory...

I mean: What if you cannot produce everything at every place? Then this is the only way to exchange big masses of goods nearly automatic.